Thought for the Day

Featuring realizations and selected correspondence of
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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An Appeal for Your Help

On the order of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sankarshan Prabhu has dedicated his life for the most urgent work of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. The more that Krishna consciousness spreads, the more that the suffering, scarcity, and hate on this planet will be replaced with bliss, abundance and love. This is a golden opportunity for us to do the highest good for all living beings and receive the special blessings of the Lord. Therefore we should, as much as possible, sacrifice our time, energy, and resources to assist Sankarshan Prabhu in his most important work. If you would like to help out to any extent, little or big, kindly inform Sankarshan Prabhu of your desire.

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Sunday 28 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Most Auspicious Appearance Day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

What day could be more auspicious than today? This is the transcendental appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Sri Krishna Himself, who so mercifully appeared a little over 500 years ago in Bengal, India in the form of His devotee to bestow what no incarnation had ever freely, unconditionally given away before, pure love of Godhead. He inaugurated the Hare Krishna movement by chanting and dancing Hare Krishna all over India inundating it with tidal waves of pure love of Godhead. He is so potent that by His influence even the wild animals in the forest of Jarikhanda took to singing and dancing the Hare Krishna mantra in ecstasy in His presence. Therefore there is great hope that by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu the people in this unfortunate age can take to the process of Krishna consciousness and become truly happy and fortunate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu--1486-1534

The Most Magnanimous Incarnation of God


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Love of Krishna Brings Finer Understanding?


Please accept my humble and loving obeisances,

May Your mercy and blessings always be on me.

Is it true that when a person develops love for Lord Krishna then he or she automatically develops the intelligence to understand even the finer points in Krishna Consciousness?

Warm regards,
Sunil

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Answer: Yes, and Finer Understanding Brings Love of Krishna.

Yes, it is a fact that the more a person loves Krishna, the more he will understand the finer points of Krishna consciousness. "Finer points" means that the deeper you go into this science, the more Krishna will reveal Himself to you. And it is also true that more one knows Krishna by hearing about Him from the revealed scriptures and realized souls, the more he will be attracted to give his love to Krishna.

So whether we approach Krishna through knowledge or love, in either way we will be sucked into His wonderful whirlpool of ever-deepening sweet loving rasa or relationship.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 27 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Bid Farewell to Fantasy Land

It's time to move on. We've been suffering in the land of illusion for far too long. There is no need to go on being unnecessarily bewildered like this. It's time that we once and for all bid farewell to fantasyland. For millions of lifetimes we've been dreaming, "I am this body." And we have foolishly taken everything that is in relationship with our bodies to be ours. In spite of our foolish false claims both the "I" and "mine" are always ripped away from us at the time of death. And we have repeatedly renewed our slot in fantasyland taking birth again and again trying to squeeze out pleasure from that place where pleasure does not exist by pretending to be something that we are not. But all of this pretension is in vain. If we want true happiness, all we have to do is realize that we are not these bodies and that we are instead the eternal spirit-soul servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the all-knowing, all-loving source of all existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guilty That Some Are Deprived While I Am So Fortunate

There is always one thing which disturbs me. That is when I see deprived human beings who are less fortunate than me, how to remove that guilt feeling I have seeing that they are so deprived while at the same time I am so fortunate? How can I help them?

Shalini

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Answer: Share the Ultimate Good Fortune With Everyone

Even though in this material world some people are materially well off and some are materially deprived, the actual fact is that everyone in this material world is in a suffering condition because through ignorance they are deprived of the higher knowledge, realization, and happiness of the eternal soul in its loving relationship with the Supreme Soul. So the actual formula for not feeling guilty over being more fortunate than others is to share the science of Krishna consciousness with everyone that you meet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 26 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Always Think of Others' Welfare

A Vaisnava, a devotee of the Lord, always thinks of the welfare of others. He does not measure his happiness in terms of the accumulation of wealth, power, and prestige. He instead measures his happiness in terms of how much he can be of service to others. In other words, the more he can help others to become happy, the more he is happy. Just as by watering the root of a tree all the leaves and branches become nourished, by channeling his love to Krishna, the Lord's devotee perfectly gives his to love to all living beings throughout the entire universe at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why are there Killer Earthquakes?

Namaskaram! Is there any explanation for earth quakes, which kill thousands of people in a minute?

Thank you for your blessings.

Thank you,
With Kind Regards,
TS

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Answer: We Are Not Living in Harmony with the Laws of Nature

Disruptions within the material nature are going on because we are not living in harmony with the laws of nature. In Vedic science we learn that everything both good and bad that is taking place in this material existence is going on under the strict laws of nature. In other words, if I commit a sinful activity, I will be punished, and if I engage in a pious activity, I will be rewarded. Nothing is happening by chance. Everyone is getting their just rewards for their previous pious and sinful activities. This however does not mean that we should be callous to the sufferings of others. No. The devotee of the Lord is more concerned than anyone else to relieve the human population from so many varieties of suffering conditions such as earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, terrorist attacks, crime, disease, economic collapse, etc. The devotee sees the underlying cause for all miseries, that people are acting independently of the laws of God and thus suffering so many karmic reactions. Therefore the devotee fully dedicates his life for educating people how to become free from karma by engaging in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 25 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Bullet Proof Soul

You are a bullet-proof soul. It's not that you have a bullet-proof soul. You are a bullet-proof soul, who presently has a material body. You can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, burned by fire, moistened by water or withered by the wind. You are an eternal, indivisible, indestructible particle of anti-material energy. And when you become fully reawakened to your original state of Krishna consciousness from that seed-like particle you will manifest your original eternal spiritual form as an associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His eternal pastimes in His indestructible abode, the wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Give Krishna Consciousness to Non-Devotees?

Guru Maharaja, since discussing Krishna consciousness with non-devotees is a sin, how can we encourage/motivate/help people with no devotion to get onto the Krishna consciousness platform?

Anu

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Answer: Intelligently with the Best Descriptive Language

It is not proper to understand that telling others about Krishna is a sin because in reality it is just the opposite. Since, Lord Caitanya has ordered us that we must tell everyone we meet about Krishna, the real sin is to not tell people about Krishna. The warnings about preaching to the non-devotees mean that we should not present Krishna consciousness in a way that will cause them to be critical or commit blasphemy against the Lord. In other words, we should present the science of Krishna so intelligently with the best descriptive language so that everyone will be attracted.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 24 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

If You Stick to the Path, Everything Will Work Out Perfectly.

Although a fully dedicated transcendentalist may sometimes face apparent setbacks, everything works out perfectly in the end. So if we are truly interested in attaining the supreme perfection, we need to patiently stick to our prescribed duties, remaining unflinchingly on the path given to us by guru and Krishna no matter what happens. In this way, in due of course of time, by keeping our faith in the process we are sure and certain to attain the supreme destination in the wondrous spiritual sky and regain our original identities as servants of the Supreme Lord in His eternal pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Philosophy and Religion

What is the difference between philosophy and religion?

Animesh

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Answer: Find and Connect with the Ultimate Cause

Philosophy means to find the ultimate cause of existence, and religion means to connect with that ultimate cause.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 23 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

The Most Miraculous Turnaround in World History

Srila Prabhupada gives a very nice example that in spreading the science of bhakti we should try to shoot for the rhinoceros. This means that we should always strive to achieve the greatest accomplishments from our missionary activities. He has given this example in a letter to his disciple, Balavanta das, dated 22 December 1971 that was written in Bombay, India:

"We should always be enthusiastic to try for shooting the rhinoceros. That way, if we fail, everybody will say, 'Never mind. Nobody can shoot a rhinoceros anyway.' And if we succeed, then everyone will say, 'Just see, what a wonderful thing they have done.'"

This is why when it comes to spreading Krishna consciousness I always like to meditate on completely revolutionizing the entire human society with this amazing science of Krishna consciousness as soon as possible. While from a material point of view it seems quite impossible and absurd that a small fledgling spiritual movement could take the leadership of this entire planet, from the transcendental point of view anything can happen. So why not try for it? We've got nothing to lose by making such an endeavor. And if we are successful it will be most miraculous turnaround in world history.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Purpose of Life?

What is the purpose of life?

M.D.

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Answer: To Live, Play, Dance, and Eat with Krishna

My spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has very nicely answered your question as follows:

"The real purpose of life is to go back home, back to Godhead, and live with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, play with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, dance with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and eat with the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Srila Prabhupada has given us this most wonderful definition in his purport to the Srimad Bhagavatam, 8th Canto, 24th Chapter, Text #52.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 22 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

An Endless Stream of Realizations

When one comes to the absolute platform he experiences an endless stream of transcendental realizations regarding the self, the one-fourth cosmos, the three-fourths cosmos, and the Supreme Self. Therefore his life is never hackneyed, dull, or uninteresting. Indeed, such an enlightened soul constantly rides the crest wave of scientific, divine awakening tasting ever-sweetening nectar at every minute. And he does not relish this bliss selfishly. Seeing the suffering world all around him his heart bleeds with compassion, and he thus dedicates himself fully to enlightening the entire human society with this perfection of consciousness known as Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is There Proof of Life After Death?

Is there life after death? And if so, is there any proof of that, or it is only belief?

Venkattu

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Answer: The Self is Situated Beyond Time's Relativities

In learned circles blind acceptance is condemned. Therefore the eternal existence of the self must be provable, otherwise we should not accept it. So, there is certainly proof of life after death.

Just try to understand that you are not your body. It is simply a covering, like a garment. When you were a small child you had a different set of atoms and molecules than you do now. But yet you remember experiences you had as small child. This clearly proves that you are not your body. Just like the molecules in a river are constantly changing, your body is constantly changing at every minute. But in spite of all these bodily changes, you remain the same because you can remember the different bodies that you went through. Your existence is a constant factor in spite of so many changes of the body. Just as the transitions from boyhood to youth to old age are going on, death is also going on simply as another change of body. Therefore, just as the transitions from boyhood to youth to old age do not annihilate the self, death is simply another change of body and does not annihilate the eternal self. The self has an absolute existence beyond time's relativities of past, present, and future. This is confirmed by the world's most famous scientist, Albert Einstein, who proved that time is relative, not absolute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Albert Einstein

1879-1955


Sunday 21 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Get in Tune and Turn Your Life into a Dazzling Song

To whatever extent you are harmonized with the Supreme Person, to that extent you will experience genuine happiness and enlightenment. And to whatever extent you are out of sync with that Supreme Person, to that extent you will be miserable, bewildered, and sometimes even devastated. So the secret of a truly joyous life then is to master the art of always being in tune with the Supreme. Just as a musician gets his instrument as perfectly in tune as possible before he plays a song, you should get yourself as perfectly in tune as possible with Krishna or God so that you can play your life song in the most dazzling, awesome way.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Test the Credibility of a Spiritual Master?

I have gone through the answer you gave in reply to the question about Krishna and Jesus. You wrote there, "the spiritual master, i.e. that person who is purely teaching the science of God, is taken to be as good as God Himself because hearing from him has the same potency as hearing from God".

So how to test the credibility of a spiritual master? These days anyone can read two or three scriptures or any books written by some of these so-called spiritual masters and present their own version of the science of God.

D.R.

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Answer: He Must Follow and Present the Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Just as before we enroll in a university we make sure that it is a bona fide university so that we do not waste our time and tuition money with an institution which is not bona fide, in a similar way we must make sure that the spiritual master is bona fide before we agree to take training from him and follow his instructions. If the guru is bogus, our following him will simply take us into the blind ditch of illusion. As it is said, "When the blind lead the blind, they will both end up in the ditch."

The standard for judging the authenticity of a spiritual master is the Bhagavad-gita, because this most sacred scripture is the direct instructions of the original spiritual master, Lord Sri Krishna. A bona fide guru is someone who strictly follows and repeats without addition or subtraction the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. The bona fide guru is also expert in presenting this supreme science in such a way that it is fully comprehensible to his audience according to time, place, and circumstance.

Nowadays there is a plethora of so-called gurus in the world who will take a little knowledge from here and a little knowledge from there and present it in a flowery way according to their own speculative imagination. In this connection it is sometimes said that a little bit of knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance. The sad reality is that due to the ignorance of the general population such counterfeit gurus are very popular nowadays. By comparing what they are teaching with the original pure teachings of the Bhagavad-gita we can easily see that they are very far off the track. For example, while Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that we should surrender unto Him, many of these so-called gurus say that we should not surrender to Krishna. In other words even though they are saying just the opposite of what Krishna says, they still have the impertinent audacity to present themselves as spiritual masters. This is why the material world is sometimes described as a fool's paradise.

So we must carefully avoid those who are not qualified to enlighten us with genuine spiritual realization and instead take instructions and shelter from those spiritual masters who are actually bona fide.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 20 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

The Inane, Insane, Profane Material Existence

What can we say about life in this material existence? It is inane because it is devoid of factual meaning. It is insane because everyone is serving the covering of the self, the material body, instead of serving the actual self, the pure spirit-soul who lives within the body. And it is profane because people are proudly defying the laws of God. Instead of engaging in the devotional service of the Lord they are foolishly absorbed in wholesale sense gratification. A person who is actually wise therefore avoids this inane, insane, profane material existence by awakening his dormant transcendental identity as a servant of the Absolute Truth Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna. In this way he lives an eternal life, full of bliss, and full of knowledge even though he externally appears to be a mortal being of this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Will I Have Spiritual Visions?

I have taken up chanting Hare Krishna on the japa mala beads, but I have not yet had any spiritual visions. What will my first vision be, and how much time will I need to spend chanting japa before I will have my first vision?

D.G.

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Answer: First Qualify Yourself

The spiritual vision experienced by a devotee is that he will be able to see God directly face to face, eye to eye. But such a spiritual vision is not a cheap thing that one can chant for a few minutes and God will be appear, just like rubbing a magic lamp to get a genie to manifest himself. To qualify oneself to see God one must fully dedicate his life in devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, the spiritual master who teaches strictly according to the instructions given by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.

Please also note that in this connection Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur has instructed us that we should not try to see God. He said that instead we should try to act in such a way that God will want to see us. This is the secret of how to see God. When God wants to see us, we have the opportunity to see Him. We have to qualify ourselves by becoming fully absorbed in pure devotional service by always chanting the holy names of God and giving up all sinful activities. In this way, in due course of time we will become completely purified and God will kindly reveal Himself to us face to face, eye to eye.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 19 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Sense Gratification is Passť

Those who are pursuing the pathway of sense gratification are behind the times. They don't realize that a new culture has manifested on this planet which makes their material sense gratification culture completely passť. Why be a part of a dying, outmoded culture entrenched in ignorance, when you can be a part of a vibrant, state-of-the-art culture which is completely revolutionizing the way we think, speak, and act and ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity for the entire human society? Many people object to this amazing Krishna consciousness culture, but once they realize the phenomenal benefits it is bestowing both on the individual and universal levels, thousands and millions of them will be embracing and adopting it with great enthusiasm and determination.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Kindly Save Me From Danger

I'm not able to chant properly. To tell You openly I have lost interest in chanting. I do not know why this kind of sudden aversion towards the holy name has developed within me. For the past 3 months or so, I have not chanted properly. Although I try hard to chant nicely I have not succeeded. I feel like some force is dragging me away from chanting, but I'm not able to figure it out what it is. Even for days together I have not touched my beads. I can feel that something bad is happening inside me.

Nowadays I'm watching television programs a lot. Before I never used to watch TV, but now most of the time I'm sitting in front of the TV. It seems I have become an addict of it.

I do not know how to solve my problems, hence I humbly seek your protection. Kindly save me from danger, Maharaja.

Thank You,

Yours servants' servant,
K.G.
India

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Answer: Here's Your Prescription

Even if you have no interest or taste for chanting, you should chant anyway because this is the only way that you can be saved at the time of death from being forced to take birth again in this material existence. The good news is that if you will chant regularly on a daily basis as a matter of duty, even if you have no taste, the natural, sweet and original taste of the holy name will in due course of time become fully manifested within your consciousness. You should always remember to put your faith in the process of chanting and keep chanting even when you don't feel like it. By this simple and sublime chanting process you will gradually conquer over your materialistic mind and become solidly fixed in ecstatic Krishna consciousness. Just as you make sure that your body is well fed every day, you should be at least equally if not more sure to feed your actual self, the spirit-soul within by regularly chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra.

So the formula to totally free yourself from your difficulties is very simple. Get rid of your television, and don't even touch a morsel of food until you have finished chanting your quota of rounds on the japa mala beads. If you will rise early and chant your rounds before sunrise, you will find that it is easy, sweet, and enjoyable to fully absorb your consciousness in deep daily meditation on the holy names of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 18 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Turn Your Home into an Ashram

How would you like to wake up every morning in the spiritual world and feel your heart dancing in ecstasy at the prospect of another blissful enlightening day of Krishna consciousness? You don't have to wait to go back to Godhead, to the spiritual world, to dive into this ocean of unlimited nectar. You can do it right now by turning your home into an ashram, i.e. by making Krishna the center. This means that everything you do there should be done for the pleasure of Krishna. This does not mean that you are giving up your pleasure. Just as by when feeding your belly your entire body becomes nourished, when you do everything for the pleasure of Krishna you are engaged in the loving service of every living being throughout all of existence and consequently your happiness becomes multiplied millions and billions of times.

Start off by making an altar for the Lord and offering all of your food there before eating. Remember that the Lord only accepts vegetarian foods. And then make your altar room the place for your morning meditations. Rise early every morning before dawn, take bath, and then worship the Lord with an offering of incense and a flower and the singing on the Lord's holy names. During the early morning hours you should also chant the holy names of the Lord on japa mala beads and study scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. In this way, you will powerfully charge your spiritual batteries for a day of enlivened Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Getting Over Feeling Sorry for Being Left Out

Sometimes when I look at things in my life I see that sometimes I do things purely for enjoyment - material conditioning. When I see friends who are not God conscious and are freely enjoying themselves (however temporary that is) I sometimes feel left out. I feel like I'm missing out on something. I know it's so silly, but it gets me down sometimes. How can I avoid or reduce these feelings of loss and of missing out? Your wisdom is appreciated.

Warm regards,

C.S.

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Answer: Feel Sorry that They are Left Out

The only way to overcome the feelings of being left out is to dive deeper into the ocean of Krishna bhakti so that instead of feeling sorry that you are left out, you will feel sorry that they are left out.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 17 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Wake Up, Sleeping Soul!

"Wake up sleeping soul!" This is the plea of Lord Caitanya. This human form of life which you have achieved with great difficulty over millions of lifetimes of evolution through the lower species is currently slipping through your fingers soon to be lost unless you seriously utilize it starting right now to awaken your eternal enlightened blissful consciousness as a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all existence. Do not be lulled into the sense of material sense gratification, either subtle or gross. Utilize this human life for what it is meant for, and experience the supreme benefit of an eternal life, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Caitanya Has Mercifully Come to Awaken Us


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can One Become Realized through Silent Meditation?

Dear Gurudeva,

What is the Sanskrit term for silent meditation on the mantra? Also, it is possible to become realized in this manner? I ask because I experience more bliss meditating in this manner as opposed to japa.

Is the bliss felt during meditation the same feeling as when others say one is "high on meditation"? Also, will the bliss eventually become more profound over time? (It feels like a swelling in my head of positive energy).

Yours in Krishna,

M.K.S.

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Answer: Chanting Breaks through Silence into Unlimited Bliss

The Sanskrit word for silence is mauna. But mauna is not applicable when chanting a mantra. Chanting means that the mantra must be audibly vibrated. According to the Brihad Naradiya Purana, in this age audible chanting is required for spiritual realization. The bliss of mauna or silent meditation is exceeded millions of times over by the bliss of pure chanting.

The bliss of silent meditation is in detaching oneself from the sufferings of material existence. But unless there is full time positive engagement on the spiritual platform one must sooner or later come out of that detached position to interact once again with the biting material energy. However, the bhakti yoga system, based on chanting the holy names of God, activates positive ananda, or spiritual bliss which is tasted and experienced far, far beyond the bliss of detachment. The bliss of pure bhakti, the fruit of dedicated serious chanting, is so powerful that one can remain 24 hours in an ecstatic, detached, meditative state even while engaged in ordinary household and occupational duties. This is exemplified by Arjuna when he fought for 18 days on the battlefield of Kurukshetra in an uninterrupted trance of pure spiritual bliss. When you become fully Krishna conscious, i.e. truly and fully illuminated in perfect spiritual enlightenment, you will be situated billions of light years away from your material body while at the same time acting perfectly within it. This cannot be compared with a mere swelling of positive energy within the head because such a comparison does not even come close to describing the bliss of pure devotional service. In short, chanting breaks through the limits of silent meditation and carries the chanter-meditator into the spiritual sky of unlimited bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 16 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

We Need Real Leaders Now, Not Hypsters.

Our current slate of leaders all over the world are highly incompetent and unqualified to guide the human society because they do not understand the basic principles of existence, how the human society can live in a state of perfect harmony with the source of its existence and thus enjoy universal peace and prosperity. There is one thing however that they are very expert in. And that is the art of hype. So what we need now more than ever on this planet is leaders, not hypsters, because when the blind lead the blind there is only one place where they will all end up. And that is in the ditch. So this then is our mission. We want to train a class of leaders all over the world who are fully conversant with the ultimate self realization science and are thus fully competent to guide the human society how to live in perfect harmony with the source of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do People Say that Their God is the Only Real God?

I really love whatever you tell us about Lord Sri Krishna. I also understand that we have to obey the spiritual rule of surrendering to Him. Why do the members of all the religions in the world say that their God is the only real God? Secondly. why don't we claim ourselves to be good human beings rather then claiming ourselves as Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc.

The smallest servant,

Vijay S.

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Answer: Because They are Lacking in Common Sense

Even though God is indeed one, many people who claim to be religious think that only someone in their religion can approach Him. This really does not make any sense because God is the father of all living beings. Whether I address Him in English as God, in Sanskrit as Krishna, or in Arabic as Allah, I am still praying to the same person. It never ceases to amaze me that so many people do not understand that God is multilingual. They must think that He only understands their language and nobody else's. If even an ordinary human being can be multi-lingual, why can't God be multi-lingual? Anybody with a little common sense can understand this. It is obvious then that these wranglers who think that God can be only by addressed by the name they call Him, are completely lacking in common sense.

You mentioned the "good human beings", but I do not see where are the good human beings nowadays when practically everyone is engaged in all varieties of sinful activities such as cow killing, baby killing, and torturing Mother earth by destroying the environment. Although they try to hide behind the cloak of "I'm a Hindu", "I'm a Muslim", "I'm a Christian", etc their sinful activities are being observed by higher authorities and they will be held accountable for them at the time of death. The way to our becoming good and perfect human beings is by identifying ourselves instead as servants of God and striving diligently to becoming perfect in our service to Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 15 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Shun Herd Mentality and Realize Yourself.

Nowadays it is considered very egalitarian to think that no matter which pathway one takes it will lead to the same goal. Try going to an airport to see if you can make this philosophy practical by taking any airplane and reaching the same destination. While such notions of doing anything and getting the same result may be the embodiment of political correctness, it should be noted in this connection that fools rush in where angels fear to tread. In other words our philosophy of life should not be based on herd mentality. An intelligent person can understand that if the herd were correct, the world would not be in such a disastrous condition as the present moment. Therefore instead of giving in to herd mentality he bravely embarks on his own personal journey of self-discovery to gain perfect realization of who he is and what is the meaning and purpose of his existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do We Truly Know Krishna?

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga, all glories to Your Grace, and all glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Hare Krishna, Maharaja,

It is stated in Bhagavad-gita 4.9: "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."

So how do we truly know? And how are we to judge that depth of realization and understanding? Certainly as lowly conditioned souls in Kali yuga, we can not personally judge or gauge the levels of true knowledge of the absolute and the parama isvara's transcendental nature. So how to truly know?

Your lowly servant,
Bhakta Michael
Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha Mandir--North Sydney, Australia

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Answer: By True Surrender to Krishna

We truly know Krishna in proportion to how much we surrender to Krishna. In other words, the more we love Krishna, the more we know Krishna. Surrender is the symptom of our love. Our love is seen by how much we are obedient to always follow Sri Krishna's instructions. Krishna very nicely describes this as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jŮātvā
viśate tad-anantaram

"One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me
by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God."
--Bg 18.55


So the conclusion is that if you have awakened your dormant love of Krishna by engaging yourself in devotional service you will naturally know and realize that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and you will enter His kingdom at the time of leaving your present material body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 14 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Shocked Reader Cancels Subscription

One of our readers was so shocked by yesterday's "Thought for the Day", in which we reminded our readers of Krishna's instruction that we should hear submissively from the bona fide spiritual master, that he wrote in requesting that his subscription be cancelled. Of course we are very sorry to lose one of our readers. But what can be done if people are disturbed by the teachings that Lord Krishna presents in the Bhagavad-gita? Although we try to present them in such a way that we can attract the hearts of everyone, sometimes in spite of all of our best efforts a person just cannot accept the idea of becoming obedient to the orders of the Supreme Lord.

But disobeying the Supreme Personality of Godhead really does not make any sense. In order to live peacefully in our country we agree to abide by its laws. Don't we? If the state law is to keep to the right while driving, we agree to keep to the right without letting this law disturb our minds. So what is the difficulty in agreeing to abide by the laws of the Supreme Lord?

If we have this difficulty, it simply means that we have a criminal mentality of defying the law. But a criminal can never be happy, because he is always afraid of being apprehended by the state. Therefore a sane man thinks, "Why should I be a criminal? It is better to be a law abiding citizen, because in this way I can live peacefully and happily in harmony with the government." So in the same way a sober, thoughtful person agrees to live in harmony with Krishna or God by following His instructions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Love Krishna?

How can I love Krishna?

Manohar

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Answer: Love His Devotee.

The simple way to love Krishna that Krishna has given us is that we should love His devotee. Because the devotee is Krishna's representative, whatever love we give to him is automatically transferred through him to Lord Krishna. And then Lord Krishna will send His love back to us through the medium of His devotee.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 13 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

You Are Not Giving Me the Answer I Want.

Sometimes people inquire from the bona fide spiritual master, and then when they are not given the answer they want to hear they criticize the spiritual master. Instead of approaching the spiritual master in a humble learning mood, they approach him with a desire to defeat him showing off their so-called superior knowledge. Approaching the spiritual master in this insulting, condescending way is detrimental for one's spiritual progress. Therefore if one is in this puffed up mood, it is better not to approach the spiritual master. Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that we should approach the spiritual master in a humble submissive mood and render service unto him. If we abide by the instructions of Krishna and approach the spiritual master in this humble way, he will reveal the truth to us, we will be blessed with transcendental knowledge, and we will become solidly situated on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Guides His Followers Back to Godhead


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Should We Fight for Our Rightful Benefits?

I have always followed the principle of working and not worrying about the fruit. My friends are however challenging me on this. They say that I should fight for my rightful benefits as a result of my work. They say not fighting for injustice done is also a crime as per Krishna, like Krishna made the Pandavas to fight for their rights.

Please enlighten me on this very crucial aspect of work and the fruit of work.

With Regards,

Santosh

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Answer: No. Fight Instead for Krishna's Benefit.

The attempt to work without attachment to the fruits of one's work is good. But the only way to truly do this is to not accept any money in exchange for one's work, which is of course highly impractical in today's world. So how does one work then without getting entangled in the fruits of one's work? This is accomplished through the bhakti yoga system, i.e. offering the fruits of one's work to Krishna. In the bhakti yoga system one is not disinterested in the fruits of work. Rather the bhakti yogi is keen to make his work as fruitful as possible so that he can make the nicest possible offering to Krishna.

By carefully studying the Bhagavad-gita we can see that Arjuna was not concerned about his rightful claim to the kingdom. He was detached from the injustice of Duryodhana and was therefore not willing to fight. But when he understood after hearing from Krishna that the Lord wanted him to fight the battle, he was then willing and eager to fight with determination for the pleasure of Krishna.

So this should the mood of all the devotees of the Krishna consciousness movement. They should have no interest in striving for their personal sense gratification. From this they should be detached. But when it comes to the matter of pleasing Krishna by saving the suffering souls of this world from ignorance, they should be willing to fight with undying and unflinching vigor and determination for spreading this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world to put a stop to the gross injustice being committed by the materialistic leaders against the earth, the cows, the children, and all the other living beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 12 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

How to Always Be Absolutely Ecstatic

Nobody truly desires to be miserable. But yet most people are foolishly acting on a regular daily basis in ways that guarantee to keep them miserable. It doesn't have to be like this because there is a solution. There is a way that anybody and everybody no matter what situation they may be in can always be absolutely ecstatic. That way is called the science of self-realization. Just as there are varying stages in the science of mathematics, there are also varying stages in the science of self-realization. In the lower stages one becomes partially liberated from all miseries. And when one reaches the perfectional stage, he becomes perfectly, absolutely ecstatic in all circumstances. That perfectional stage is known as Bhagavan realization or Krishna consciousness. It is not necessary to progress through the lower stages known as Brahman realization and Paramatma realization and then gradually come to the highest stage. Just as when one wants to go to an upper floor in a tall building one can either takes the stairs or the elevator, in the self-realization science one can proceed gradually to the perfectional platform over many lifetimes, or he can immediately come to the topmost platform simply by fully surrendering himself to Lord Krishna. Those who are thus willing to dive fully into the self-realization process become absolutely ecstatic in all times, places, and circumstances.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Srila Prabhupada Pours Out the Mercy


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: I Am Slow and Lazy. How Can I Improve?

I am a slow and lazy person in whatever I do. Kindly guide me so that I can improve myself. Although I am doing well in my spiritual & material life, I am not self motivated and need to be pushed (forced to do work ) by my parents & friends every time. So kindly help me & bless me.

Thanking you,

H.B.

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Answer: Become a Pure Devotee and Spread this Movement

Therefore I am pushing you that you must become a pure devotee of Krishna and fully dedicate your life for spreading this Krishna consciousness movement for the benefit of the suffering souls on this planet. If you do not fully absorb yourself in Krishna consciousness by engaging yourself in Krishna's service at every minute, you can at any time be victimized by the material energy and fall down from the spiritual platform.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 11 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

When the Whole World Becomes Krishna Conscious

What a glorious day it will be when the Vedic culture again becomes predominant on this planet. It is not unthinkable that this could indeed transpire because before the onslaught of the Kali yuga 5,000 years ago, the entire world had been under the influence of Vedic culture for 3,888,000 years. The capital of the entire planet earth was situated in India in Hastinapura, which is near the present city of Delhi. Under the guidance of learned, enlightened brahmanas the Vedic kings such as Yudhisthira Maharaja and Parikshit Maharaja ruled the entire planet earth according to the Vedic principles thus bestowing peace and prosperity on their citizens all over the world. So this is the mission of the Krishna consciousness movement, to bring about a world-wide revival of the original Vedic culture. May all those persons who are thoughtful and compassionate in all nations of the world lend their support for helping to make this Krishna consciousness movement successful. This is greatest service that one can render to the suffering humanity


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Narada Muni Instructs Maharaja Yudhisthira in the Vedic Science


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Christ's and Krishna's Teachings?

Hare Krishna,

I have a question related to yesterday's question. If Lord Krishna and Jesus Christ are the same person as father and son, why their teachings are so different? Christians do not follow the principles.

Thank you for your orientation.

Mataji M.L.

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Answer: The Only Real Difference is in the Followers

Lord Krishna and Lord Jesus are not the same person. They are two different persons, just as the father and the son who are running a business together are two different persons but are one in the sense that they share a common purpose.

In essence the teachings of Krishna and Jesus are the same. They are both teaching pure love of God. The difference we see nowadays is not a difference in their teachings. The difference we see is in the followers. Jesus upheld the Biblical principle "Thou shalt not kill." But yet we see that the modern day Christians, in spite of Christ's showing the example of kindness and gentleness to all creatures, are maintaining thousands of slaughterhouses all over the world.

Krishna describes in the Bhagavad-gita how sometimes the Vedic wisdom becomes distorted and has to presented again. In a similar way we see that the teachings of Lord Jesus have now become distorted and that there is now a great need within the Christian tradition to re-establish the original teaching of Lord Jesus of kindness to all living beings. The Christians now need to be taught how to be real Christians.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 10 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Living in a World of Eternity, Knowledge, and Bliss

Before coming to Krishna consciousness I was ardently searching for spiritual enlightenment and for a means of giving spiritual enlightenment to the entire human society. In this pursuit I encountered many different teachings and systems of self-realization. I was frustrated by one technique after another because in spite of so much flowery language promising me that I could become God they failed to deliver me to the transcendental platform. I needed a practical system that would tangibly elevate my consciousness completely beyond the miseries of material existence. Finally after five years of struggle I was blessed by Srila Prabhupada and his followers with the transcendental science of Krishna consciousness. Since then I have been living in an entirely different world, a world where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Spreading Krishna Consciousness,
the Ultimate Self Realization Science, in Riga, Latvia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Jesus and Krishna the Same?

Hare Krishna. According to the science of self-realization are Jesus Christ and Krishna the same?

Howard

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Answer: Simultaneously the Same and Different

According to the Vedic teachings, which present the highest level understanding of the self-realization science, Jesus Christ and Lord Krishna are simultaneously the same and different. How do we draw this conclusion? According to the Vedic science the bona fide spiritual master, ie. that person who is purely teaching the science of God, is taken to be as good as God Himself because hearing from him has the same potency as hearing from God Himself. Therefore, Jesus Christ, being a bona fide spiritual master, is as good as God because he purely transmits the message of God. This is why when the Christians call him, God the son we have no difficulty accepting this Biblical concept. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna presents Himself as God, the father. So we have no difficulty understanding and accepting the harmonious relationship between the father and the son.

So in conclusion even though the father and the son are two different persons, they are also the same because they are both teaching the pure science of devotion to the Supreme Person, the source of all existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 9 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Invest Your Energy Wisely

Why live miserably and ignorantly in temporality when you can live wisely and blissfully in immortality? In other words, why suffer in this material world, where ignorance is so-called bliss, when you can enjoy unlimitedly in the most sublime eternal realm of Krishna consciousness at every minute? The choice is yours. You can do what you want. But as you sow, so shall you reap. You are going to get what you put your energy into. If you channel your energy only into your body, you are going to end up with a blank check at the time of death. But if you will instead wisely invest your energy in the revival of your immortal identity, you will victoriously conquer over the material nature and attain the intimate personal association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, in His eternal pastimes. So now do what you want.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Become an Eternal Associate of Amazing Krishna

the Supreme All-Attractive Personality of Godhead



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is Krishna Surrounded by So Many Women?

My humble obeisances at your feet,

Please explain to me the rasa-lila. Someone asked me why Sri Krishna had so many women devotees surrounding Him.

Seeking blessings,

Rashmi

Editor's note: Rasa-lila is Krishna's most famous pastime of dancing all night in the Vrindavan forest with thousands of beautiful young cowherd girls.

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Answer: Because He is Super-Attractive

If a man is super-attractive, he will naturally attract many women. Therefore since Krishna is the Supreme All-Attractive Personality of Godhead it is natural that he will attract and be surrounded by so many women. In the recent history we see that the Beatles rock band attracted so many young girls that the term Beatlemania was coined. But since Krishna is unlimitedly more attractive than the Beatles we can understand that the Beatlemania of this world is an insignificant drop of water compared the Krishnamania ocean going on eternally in the wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 8 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Unperturbed by Death

The pure devotee of the Lord is so advanced in his Krishna consciousness that he is completely undisturbed at the time of death. Because he is completely free from bodily identification, death for him is nothing more than going from one room into another room. In other words, it is not a traumatic, anxiety-ridden experience. It is simply another routine activity in the service of the Lord, that yesterday I was serving the Lord in that place, and now today I am serving the Lord in this place. While for the materialist death means the complete total destruction of all his plans, for the devotee death simply means that he continues with his service with the added benefit of better facilities.

In this connection there is the example of Parikshit Maharaja. According to the description in the Srimad Bhagavatam because he fully realized that he was separate from his body he did not notice when the snake-bird Taksaka approached him to kill him nor did he even see his dying body. In this way being fully absorbed in blissful Krishna consciousness he was completely unperturbed by his death. We also can be equally unperturbed by death, if we seriously adopt the principles of Krishna consciousness in our daily lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Maharaja Parikshit Being Bitten by the Snake-bird


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can Alaskans Be Vegetarians?

If I give the argument that Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita, "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.", someone might ask, "Then why are you eating grains and milk products as well?" How could I explain?

And also, I have been asked, "What should the people who live in Alaska do? How could they become vegetarian?

Your servant,

Anda


Answer: With 100 Pound Cabbages They Already Have Full Facility.

Botanically speaking grains are a type of dry fruit so they are included in this verse. And we know from Krishna's pastimes that He loves all varieties of milk products.

Alaska has a profuse growing season during the summer months. Even though it only lasts for 105 days, they have 24 hours of sunlight from June through August. Because of non-stop sunlight they get amazing vegetables such as 80 to 120 pound cabbages or zucchinis the size of baseball bats. Gardening is so popular in Alaska that in Anchorage, Alaska's biggest city encompassing more than half the state's half-million population--virtually everyone has big gardens. So an Alaskan vegetarian can easily grow enough vegetables for the entire year by preserving from the sunny growing season even to last him through the 260 days of the the cold season.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Giant Alaskan Cabbage


Sunday 7 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Always Prepared for the Unexpected

In this world we never know what is going to happen at any particular moment. Although things normally go on in a more or less routine way, sometimes apparently out of the blue we are hit by a devastating experience which completely overrides our normal life style. But a Krishna conscious person maintains his equilibrium in all circumstances without being disturbed because he sees how everything is going on under the perfect arrangement of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is an Advanced Devotee?

How do you recognize who is an advanced devotee or a senior devotee? Is he the one who joined ISKCON before others? Or is it or something else? Please explain.

Your humble servant

Isvara Puri Dasa

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Answer: The One Who is the Most Krishna Conscious

There are a number of ways by which a devotee may be considered our senior:

1. He is physically older than us
2. He was initiated before we were initiated
3. He is in a higher spiritual position than us such as temple president or sannyasi
4. He is more spiritually advanced than us, ie. more Krishna conscious

If he is more spiritually advanced than us, he is naturally our senior, even if we are senior to him according to one of the first three items. But in spite of this, one of the symptoms of the spiritually advanced devotee is that he is always eager to offer all respect to others. He honors as his seniors all those who are engaged in devotional service and are senior to him according to any of these four items.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 6 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Better than Being Comfortable

These periodic stops throughout the year at our headquarters, Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, are a very important component of our around-the-world lecture tours. Because we are currently doing our service while being situated within material bodies we have to take proper care of them to keep them in proper operating condition so that we can continue traveling and spreading this supreme knowledge all over the world for many, many years to come. We always come back here to celebrate Gaura Purnima (the appearance day of Lord Caitanya), Janmastami (the appearance day of Lord Krishna), and Srila Prabhupada's Vyas Puja day (appearance day.) These breaks are a welcome respite from the rigors of regularly traveling around the globe, but as soon as we arrive here we are immediately preparing our next tour because what is even more enlivening than being comfortable is to spread the supreme comfort formula, Krishna consciousness, to all the living beings throughout the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Leading Hare Krishna Kirtan at Austin's Bhaktivedanta Ashram


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If Guru's Order Is Potent, Why Can't I Follow It?

From China

Dear teacher:

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The spiritual master's instruction contains in itself the potency for the practitioner's successfully executing it, so all we have to do is fully embrace that instruction with our heart and soul. However, it does make me puzzled. For example, one of the instructions is to chant Krishna's holy names constantly and be fully focused on the sound vibration, and to chant with love. However, the mind wanders away more or less, and there's no natural love / attraction. If there's the potency in the instruction, why am I not able to follow it? The thing is, the spiritual master's instruction is on the level of pure bhakti while I am not on the level of pure bhakti, so I'm not able to follow. Of course I'm trying with my heart and soul.

In fact, I never think / feel I'm a devotee, because I never reach the depth and purity that is required & contained in the spiritual master's instructions. Is it that it needs time for the potency in guru's instruction to take effect, just like Srila Prabhupada received the instruction of preaching Krishna consciousness in western countries at a young age but did not accomplish until he reached the advanced age of 70? Could you kindly clarify this?

Your humble servant,

Yechen

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Answer: By Your Sincere Attempt Gradually You'll Become Perfect.

In any field of study it takes time to learn how to master the knowledge and its application. This is why all over the world there are so many thousands of colleges and universities with degree programs that go on for so many years. The Krishna consciousness branch of knowledge is the most highly advanced of all fields of study. Therefore it is natural that if other fields of study require so many years to master, the bhakti science will also take a substantial amount of time to master. So that the neophyte devotee does not immediately become an advanced devotee does not mean that the spiritual master's order is not fully potent. Sri Guru's instructions are fully invested with Krishna shakti and are therefore fully potent. It is simply that the disciple has to master the art of how to fully connect himself with that divine Krishna potency by faithfully, patiently serving the spiritual master's order in all times, places, and circumstances.

The seed of the bhakti has been planted by the spiritual master in your heart. But you cannot expect to have a fully grown tree of bhakti immediately. Just like if we plant an apple seed in the ground, can we realistically expect to have an apple tree full of apples appear before us immediately? No, it takes time. We must patiently nurture the small plant while it gradually grows into a large tree full of apples. So you must faithfully execute the process of Krishna consciousness with patience just like a gardener under the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master. Then in due course of time within the garden of your heart you are sure to achieve the exalted state of divine enlightened Krishna consciousness that you desire.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 5 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Be Steady in All Circumstances

Due to our materially conditioned natures the pathway back to home, Godhead is not always smooth. Therefore we sometimes face tests that are so severe that they can even be emotionally devastating. So how to deal with this? The key is to be always steady in one's devotional practices through thick and thin. Just like when we are sick and the doctor prescribes some medicine for us, even though we feel sometimes very bad, we faithfully take the medicine every day on the doctor's order. In this way we gradually recover from our diseased condition. In a similar way if we will faithfully execute the orders that we receive from the spiritual master in all circumstances, we will gradually emerge from the dark night of the cycle of birth and death into the beautiful fully illuminated existence of ecstatic divine consciousness, Krishna consciousness. Therefore we should be steady in our practice of Krishna consciousness in all circumstances never allowing anything, no matter what it is, to divert us to even the slightest extent from this wondrous golden road of unlimited devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Be Steady in Your Practice of Krishna Consciousness

Krishna and His Associates are Waiting for Your Glorious Return
to His Eternal Transcendental Kingdom, Goloka Vrindavan


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do You Really See God?

Dear Gurudeva!

I wish to ask you one thing. Do you really see God? If so, please tell me how you see Him. Or do you only see His presence in feelings? It's my humble request.

Thanks,

Your humble listener,

Lisasaji

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Answer: Here's How to Make a Proper Discernment.

You have asked me if I see God, and the answer is certainly that I am seeing God at every minute. Because God is omnipresent, everyone is seeing God at every minute. But the God-seeing of the Krishna conscious person and the materially conditioned person are quite different. The conditioned soul sees God in
His not so pleasant form of death. That Krishna is death is confirmed as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham

"I am all-devouring death."
--Bhagavad-gita 10.34

The conditioned person in the material energy sees God in a very fearful way because when God appears in the form of death He takes away everything that the conditioned person holds to be near and dear.

But the Krishna conscious person sees God within and without in His beautiful all-attractive feature as the all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead at every minute. Therefore the Krishna conscious person does not live within the material energy like the materialists. He is living within the Lord's spiritual energy experiencing the Lord's unlimited absolute benevolence at every minute.

You are asking how I am seeing God. Am I seeing him indirectly as a materialist, or am I seeing directly him as a Krishna conscious person? In this regard please understand that many people have claimed that they can see God. But how can we confirm whether they are telling the truth or not? So the real point is that we have to become learned in the science of the Bhagavad-gita to know who is actually Krishna conscious and who is not. So if we want to know if a particular person can see God or not, we have to carefully study the Bhagavad-gita as it is and carefully study the particular person also. In this way we can know whether he can directly see God or not.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 4 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Stepping Over the Puddle of Material Existence

Since death can come at any moment we should always be prepared for it by being in a constant mood of pure devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This will assure our passage into the Lord's transcendental kingdom upon leaving our present bodies. By constant bhakti we will always be on the safe side in this world where there is danger at every step. In this connection it is very nicely stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.58 as follows:

samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām

"For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murari, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf's hoof-print. Their goal is param padam, Vaikuntha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step."

In this way the devotees are at all not bewildered by this dangerous material existence. Rather than being in anxiety about it, they step over it as easily and effortlessly as stepping over a tiny puddle of water.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Step Over this Material Existence

Take Shelter of the Boat of Krishna's Lotus Feet


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do Muslims Have to Take Birth as Hindus to Be Liberated?

It is enlightening and inspiring reading your daily thoughts and the questions and answers through your daily emails. Thank you very much. I have a close Muslim friend who is religious and takes interest in studying spiritual science. I am not competent and qualified to answer his questions. You are requested to kindly advise me on the subject.

His Questions:

We Muslims worship Nirgun-Nirakar God (God without qualities and form) and most of you Hindus worship Sagun-Sakar God (God with qualities and form) although some of you worship Nirgun-Nirakar too.

We consume non-vegetarian food, which is authorized by our faith and is as per religious injunctions. Since you say God is only one and has same rules for all living entities:

1) What is the ultimate fate of people who follow the Muslim faith ?

2 )What is the ultimate fate of Hindus who follow Sagun-Sakar worship?

3 ) What is the ultimate fate of Hindus who worship Nirgun-Nirakar?

4 ) God according to Hindus has said that He is both Sagun-Sakar and Nirgun-Nirakar and that people have choice to worship either. He is equal to all. How can you say Sagun-Sakar Deity worship alone will lead to pure realization stopping the birth and death cycle?

5 ) Do Muslims have to take birth again to become Hindus and worship Sagun-Sakar to realize the Ultimate Truth, which as you say is realizing one's true relationship with God?

Your humble servant,

Anil


Answer: They Simply Have to Be Pure Lovers of God

Here are your questions with answers:

You mentioned, "We Muslims worship Nirgun-Nirakar God (God without qualities and God without form) and most of you Hindus worship Sagun-Sakar God (God with qualities and God with form) although some of you worship Nirgun-Nirakar too!

The word "Hindu" was coined by you Muslims, and is thus not found anywhere in the Vedic scriptures. Since it is not found in the Vedas we prefer to identify ourselves as followers of the Vedic culture, not as Hindus. The culmination of the universal self realization science as taught in the Vedas is to worship God as being both Nirkar and Sakar. In the other words, the Supreme Person has both His personal nature His impersonal nature.

And then you mentioned, "We consume non-vegetarian food, which is authorized by our faith and is as per religious injunctions." In this connection please note that some governments allow legalized prostitution in order to keep some regulatory checks on the prostitution which is going to go on anyway. Similarly some religious scriptures allow meat eating as a concession for those who cannot come to the higher platform of respect for all living beings. Such meat eating is allowed under certain restrictions.

Even in the Vedas there is an allowance for the low class people who cannot give up their taste for rotting flesh. They are allowed to kill a goat on the dark moon night after whispering a mantra in the goat's ear that just I am killing you now to eat you, in your next life I will be a goat and you will be a human who will kill me and eat me. Such allowances for meat eating are to discourage meat eating.

While Islam gives concession for meat eating, many Muslims who understand the inner mood of Muhammad have opted for a vegetarian diet. In fact in a Muslim text known as Bukhari it is stated:

"The Holy Prophet Muhammad was asked by his companions if kindness to animals was rewarded in the life hereafter. He replied: 'Yes, there is a meritorious reward for kindness to every living creature'."

So when a Muslim adopts the position of not harming the animals by abstaining from eating them he becomes more advanced in his practice of Islam. And those Muslims who are not yet ready to come to this higher stage of Islam are informed by prophet Muhammad to at least stop eating the cow. This instruction of Muhammad is found in the famous collection by Ibn Qayyim of the sayings of Muhammad known as Z‚d al-ma'‚d:

'an suhayb radiya All‚h 'anhu yarfa'uhu:
'alaykum bi-laban al-baqar fa-innah‚ shif‚' wa-samnuh‚ daw‚' wa-lahmuh‚ d‚'.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "You should use cows' milk, because it is for healing, and use cows' ghee because it is medicine, but beef should be avoided because it brings disease."

And then you state, "Since you say God is only one and has same rules for all living entities". Please understand that God has given different sets of rules for people on different levels. The meat eaters are given a concession for meat eating but with restriction. And then are encouraged to give it up completely.

1 ) What is the ultimate fate of people who follow Muslim Faith?

When Muslims become spiritually advanced they will naturally adopt the principle of kindness to all beings included the four-legged, winged, and finned ones by not eating them.

2 ) What is the ultimate fate of Hindus who follow Sagun-Sakar worship?

Those who are advanced in Vedic understanding worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead who possesses form and attributes. Such enlightened souls fully surrender themselves unto that the Supreme Personality of Godhead and return to the spiritual world at the time of leaving their bodies.

3 ) What is the ultimate fate of Hindus who worship Nirgun-Nirakar?

To worship only the impersonal Nirgun-Nirakar aspect of the Supreme is incomplete worship of God. Krishna states as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

kleśo 'dhikataras teṣām
avyaktāsakta-cetasām
avyaktā hi gatir duḥkhaṁ
dehavadbhir avāpyate

"For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature
of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline
is always difficult for those who are embodied."

--Bhagavad-gita 12.5

So anyone who wants permanent relief from material existence must rise beyond Nirgun-Nirakar and understand the personal feature of the Supreme. The personal nature of the Supreme is clearly indicated in the Koran in many verses. Although the Koran certainly establishes Nirgun-Nirakar impersonalism, in its final analysis it clearly refutes that impersonalism and establishes the Sagun-Sakar personal conception of God.

4 ) God according to Hindus has said : He is both Sagun-Sakar and Nirgun-Nirakar and people have choice to worship either. He is equal to all. How can you say Sagun-Sakar Deity worship alone will lead to pure realization stopping birth and death cycle?

We do not say that. Our philosophy is both features of the Supreme should be simultaneously accepted with proper understanding that the personal feature of the Supreme is primary while His impersonal feature is secondary. Krishna clearly promotes Sagun-Sakar in the Bhagavad-gita in which He fully reveals Himself as a person with form and attributes.

5 ) Do Muslims have to take birth again to become Hindus and worship Sagun-Sakar to realize the ultimate Truth which as you say is -realizing ones true relationship with God?

No. The Muslims should simply understand that the personal Sagun-Sakar nature of Allah as it is revealed in the Koran is higher than His impersonal Nirgun-Nirakar nature. And if they can give up cruelty to the animals as is mentioned in their own scriptures and regularly chant the name of Allah they can become perfect Muslims and be qualified to attain the kingdom of God at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 3 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Great Spiritual Masters are Persecuted

Throughout world history it has been repeatedly seen that those who realize the Supreme Truth manifest great kindness upon the suffering souls of this world and thus powerfully broadcast the message of the Supreme Truth as far and as wide as possible to as many people as possible. And sadly such great spiritual masters are too often criticized and persecuted. The notable examples in this connection are Lord Jesus Christ and Hari Das Thakur. In an attempt to put him to death Lord Jesus was crucified. And in a similar attempt Haridas Thakur was severely beaten in twenty-two different market places. But in both cases these great devotees were protected by the Lord and could not be killed.

So we can similarly expect that sometimes in our efforts to share Krishna consciousness with those who are not so fortunate as to have it yet that we may sometimes be criticized, harassed, and persecuted. When this happens to us it is a real test of how serious we actually are to do whatever it takes to please our most beloved Lord Krishna, even if we have to be put into displeasing and difficult situations.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Haridas Thakur and Jesus Christ


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why 108 Japa Beads?

My Dear Guru Maharaja,

In a Gurukula class one of the students asked, "Why do the Japa beads have 108 beads and not any other figure?"

Your humble Servant,

Pravin

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Answer: 108 Upanisads and 108 Gopis

We have 108 beads because there are 108 Upanisads. By this chanting on the 108 beads we have surpassed the study of 108 Upanisads by realizing the conclusion of the 108, namely to be absorbed in the devotional service of Lord Sri Krishna.

Also there are 108 gopis in Vrindavan who are especially dear to Krishna. So by chanting on these 108 beads we are serving those 108 chief gopis. Serving Krishna's devotees is essential because becoming a devotee of Krishna means to become a devotee of the devotees of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 2 February 2010

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Unfailingly Dedicated in All Circumstances

The key to conquering over the modes of material nature and being solidly situated on the transcendental platform of Bhagavan realization, pure Krishna consciousness, is to always be engaged 24 hours daily in all places and circumstances in devotional service. In other words, we can easily attain the topmost perfection simply by always being vigilant without deviation that we are thinking, speaking, and acting in a way that is pleasing to Krishna. In this way if we remain unfailingly dedicated in all circumstances, we will quickly be elevated to the topmost platform of spiritual perfection and thus be blessed with always relishing the sweetest transcendental bliss, which far exceeds the happiness of the demigods in the heavenly planets. The key for quickly attaining this is to not ever give in to the desire of the senses for the cheap, quick thrills of material sense gratification. We must keep always the senses under control by constantly absorbing them engaged in Krishna's service. In this way we will taste millions of time more happiness than the fleeting so-called pleasure of the senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Dedicated Russian Hare Krishna Devotee Spreads

the Sublime Krishna Consciousness Science


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Choose My Guru?

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Guru and Gauranga!

Thank you very much for this nice and elaborated article in lesson C24. Because of your answers and the email conversations between us, I am satisfied and have accepted the guru parampara and have started searching a sincere disciple of Prabhupada to accept as my spiritual master. But is my standard of devotional attitude and knowledge enough to judge the devotees who are already in Krishna Consciousness for a much longer time than me? My judgment may be wrong because I am still not very much serious in Krishna Consciousness, and I still have an incomplete idea how to find out the criteria to choose and filter a sincere disciple among so many sincere disciples. So how can I choose my guru ? What are the criteria? Please guide me.

H.M.

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Answer: Who is Opening Your Eyes with the Torchlight of Knowledge?

This is wonderful news. Because of your sincerity Srila Prabhupada has blessed you to be able to understand properly what is his desire for the continuance of the disciplic succession.

The answer to your very nice question is that you need to spend time carefully reading and following the sublime teachings given in Srila Prabhupada's books. In this way, by his mercy, you will gradually develop a maturity of consciousness which will enable you to confidently seek out and take shelter of a spiritual master who is a living embodiment of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

As per your request, I will be happy to steer you in the right direction how you can properly discern who should be your spiritual master. The best criterion for selecting your spiritual master is to see who is that that guru who is opening your eyes and delivering you from ignorance. We pray to that guru with the following mantra:

oṁ ajŮāna-timirāndhasya
jŮānāŮjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

"I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes
with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him."

So you should simply see who is that guru who is opening your eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. He is the guru you should surrender to, the guru from whom you should accept initiation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 01 February 2009

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Beyond the Stereotypes

Our mental disease is that we are habituated to a stereotypical way of viewing reality. Instead of boldly embracing the ever-fresh, unlimitedly exciting present in a sweet loving relationship with the Supreme Person, the source of our existence, out of a false sense of security we hover in the so-called comfort zone of seeing everything through the colored lenses of our past experience refusing to cast off our foolishly cherished prejudices. In this conditioned state of consciousness we stubbornly hold on to past grudges never allowing ourselves the freedom of fully forgiving the past transgressions of others. We proudly feel that we were wronged, when in fact we were simply being justly punished for our own past transgressions. So what is the solution for this karmic quagmire? We must arise now from the ashes of our own foolishness putting our full faith in Krishna and the spiritual master. In this way we will experience within our hearts at every moment the wonderful dawning of the ultimate spiritual enlightenment, Krishna consciousness, and all of our past sufferings we will see simply as a bad dream from which we were so kindly awakened by the all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead and His most confidential servitor, the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Cutting through the Stereotypes at a Christian Church



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Realize the Lessons of My Spiritual Master?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

I am thanking you always deep within my mind. Because of you I have the possibility to follow the pathway back to Godhead. Through devotional service as you have instructed in your lectures and your writing I have found the essence of my life. Thank you for this mercy! Without this my life would be zero. My question is: How to realize the lessons of my spiritual master?

Your servant,

Silvia

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Answer: Serve Him by Pure Bhakti and Preaching.

Realization of the lessons of the spiritual master comes through loving service to the spiritual master. The best service you can do for your spiritual master is to become a pure devotee of Krishna and fully dedicate your life to assisting the spiritual master in his mission of making the entire world Krishna conscious.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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